UN Projects launched to help Liberian Refugees Reintegrate into Homeland


11 March 2013 – New York, NY – The United Nations (UN) has announced that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will assist in the reintegration of Liberian returnees with several projects aimed at equipping them with vocational and entrepreneurial skills to help them regain livelihoods in their homeland.

Two projects, each with a budget of $1.5 million and funded by the Government of Japan, will provide Liberians who have already returned, or intend to return to their home country, with vocational skills training, entrepreneurship training and other related services to help them find jobs or start up livelihoods or businesses. They will be carried out in partnership with the Liberian Government’s Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission.

Over a decade of civil war in Liberia forced some 750,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries. After the civil war ended in 2003, many refugees have returned to their home country, with most of them settling in and around the capital, Monrovia.

“Many of the young returnees have never seen their home country. This is a big challenge we must address. The lack of livelihood opportunities can hinder their reintegration process,” said Chakib Jenane, Chief of UNIDO’s Agro-Industries Technology Unit.

buduburam-campA significant number of those who fled Liberia have yet to return home, and one of the biggest concentrations of Liberian refugees is in the Buduburam camp (pictured at right), west of Accra in Ghana, where some 6,000 Liberian refugees still reside.  Photo courtesy of Voice of America.

Another UNIDO project, to be implemented in partnership with the Ghana Refugee Board, will assist the Government of Ghana in the continuing and long-term process of the economic reintegration of Liberian refugees and their families still residing in the Buduburam camp.   UNIDO said that the project will address one of the main reasons given by Liberians still residing in the camp for not returning to Liberia – a lack of any marketable livelihood skills and/or financial capital with which to embark on new enterprises.

Those Liberians who are willing to return to their home country will be provided with multi-skills training. UNIDO will share its expertise of working with small mechanics, metal and wood workshops and other basic industries, such as food processing and garment production, with a special focus on technical skills upgrading and entrepreneurship development.

The United Nations  is an international organization established in 1945 to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and world peace. Currently with 193 members states, the UN and its specialized agencies meet regularly throughout the year.

The UN has five active organs: the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly); the Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security); the Economic and Social Council (for assisting in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development); the Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); and the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ).  Other prominent UN agencies include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The UN also contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.  The UN Headquarters is in New York City, with other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. More information at http://www.un.org/en/

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.  The mandate of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is to promote and accelerate sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition.  For more, visit http://www.unido.org/unidoorg.html.

Source: United Nations